This submission is by Susie Adams, whose everyday Hero Dog is Murphy, a Shih Tzu.
My Dog is My Hero Because…
I lost my dad and best friend in November 2010. I had been thinking about a dog for a while, but had not done it because of the commitment and my work schedule. This time, however, it began to feel like I needed something to focus on to bring me out of the funk I was in.
In January 2011, I mentioned my interest to a work friend who told me about her adoption of Sadie and the ups and downs of being a working, single “parent.” Immediately after talking with her, I looked on the Humane Society of Charlotte website and there was Murphy. Murphy met all of my criteria; a boy, 3 years old, and Shih Tzu, one of my preferred breeds, plus his picture was adorable. He had these big, dark brown eyes that said he had a story to tell. I filled out the application online and submitted it that night.
The next day the Humane Society called to tell me I was approved, but that I needed to go see him before finalizing the adoption which of course I wanted to do anyway. One of the attendants said she would bring him to the “interaction area.” She brought him in and he was shaking and slow to warm up to me; there were a lot of big dogs barking and he jumped every time they barked. I got down on the ground and talked to him and he eventually came over so I could pet him. After a while he came directly in front of me and put his paws on my shoulder and looked at me like “please get me out of here.”
In the 20 months since Murphy came home, this shy pup who was initially afraid of his own shadow, of loud noises, of water, of stairs, and of most people, has taken over my home and my life.
While I say that Murphy is perfect, he really isn’t.
He is selfish and demanding. He snorts if I am too slow to treat him. He literally digs in his heels on our walks if I head in a direction that does not strike his fancy. Every chair is his, the sofa is his and he decides which side of the bed is his (it depends on his mood).
He is a thief – stealing towels, tshirts, rugs, socks, hose and hearts.
He is a pig – he eats too fast, gets his food all over himself and leaves toys strewn all over the room (wait, I do all of that too!).
HHHe has more friends than I do.
I’ve learned that pampered pets are a business and I am grateful to those who share in Murphy’s caregiving – his walkers, his vet, his groomer, trainer, his day care teacher and the crowd at the Ballantyne Zoom Room where he takes agility. And I am grateful for the patience of our agility classmates on those nights when Murphy is in no hurry to complete the course.
One of my friends said to me a couple of months after Murphy came home, “Your daddy picked Murphy out for you.” I think she’s right. While he isn’t perfect, the little goofball is perfect for me. I look forward to his utter joy when I come in the door, and I think he looks forward to making me giggle every day.
I know that officially Murphy is a rescue, but really it is the other way around. Either way, I’m very glad that we found each other.
Learn more about the Hero Dog Awards.